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Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (1469-1527) was arguably the most influential political thinker of the Renaissance period.

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His best-well-known job-related, Il Principle (‘The Prince’), later caused his name ending up being synonymous via ruthmuch less political machicountries.

To this day, the term “Machiavellian” connotes political deceit, scheming and unscrupulousness.

Here are 10 facts around him.

1. He lived in the time of a time of political turmoil

Machiavelli was born on 3 May 1469 in Florence prior to coming to be a senior main in the Florentine Republic.

From 1487 he started working under a banker, until in 1498 he was called the chancellor and also the chief executive officer of the government of Florence.

As chancellor, he had responsibilities in diplomatic and army affairs in the time of an age of tumultuous political tragedy.


French troops under Charles VIII entering Florence by Francesco Granacci (Credit: Public domain).


In 1494, Italy was got into by King Charles VIII of France and also then later by Spain and Austria, causing virtually 400 years of preeminence by outsiders.

Machiavelli’s reasoning was defined by this upheaval. It was his dream that the separated Italian city-claims would unite under a strong leader to fulfill its dangers on equal terms.

2. He worked through Leonarperform da Vinci

As a senior government official, Machiavelli offered his powers to commission Leonarcarry out da Vinci and appointed him Florence’s military engineer in 1502.

Leonarcarry out left his write-up only 8 months after, but it is believed that the 2 “seem to have come to be intimate” once they were both in Florence.


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A paint of Leonarcarry out da Vinci by Francesco Melzi


Some historians believe their connection had actually a far-ranging influence on Machiavelli’s political thinking. His writings show up to be rife through idiosyncratic expressions from Leonardo’s notepublications.

3. He was an adversary of the powerful Medici family

The Medici household – who were the de facto rulers of Florence – played a central role to Machiavelli’s life and also functions.

When the Medicis were ousted from the city in 1494, Machiavelli’s primary issue was their potential return.

To store them at bay, he managed the recruitment and also training of an official Florentine militia. However before his army was no enhance for the Medicis, who were supported by Rome’s papal forces.


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Machiavelli dedicated ‘The Prince’ to Lorenzo de’ Medici, illustrated here by Giorgio Vasari (Credit: Uffizi Gallery).


When the House of Medici retook Florence in 1512, Machiavelli was deprived of office and imprisoned under conspiracy charges.

While in jail, he was subjected to torture by the strappacarry out – where a prisoner would be hung by his wrists behind his back, and then suddenly dropped in the direction of the floor, dislocating the shoulders and also tearing the muscles.

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4. He created ‘The Prince’ to reobtain his shed status

After losing his project as a diplomat, Machiavelli strove to win the favour of the Medicis.

He reexhausted to his estate and turned to scholarship, devoting his time to studying the prehistoric Romale theorists. By the finish of 1513, he had actually completed the initially variation of the political treatise that he would end up being known for.

At first, Machiavelli dedicated ‘The Prince’ to Giuliano de’ Medici, yet Giuliano passed away in 1516. The book was consequently dedicated to the younger Lorenzo di Piero de’ Medici, grandboy of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Machiavelli did not live to check out if he succeeded; ‘The Prince’ was publiburned in 1532, 5 years after his fatality at the age of 58.


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Engraved portrait of Machiavelli, from the Peace Palace Library’s Il Principe (Credit: Public domain).


5. ‘The Prince’ is based on Cesare Borgia

The name Borgia is synonymous through decadence, treachery and also ruthlessness – the majority of exemplified by the daring and also bloodthirsty Cesare Borgia (1475-1507).

The illegitimate kid of Pope Alexander VI, Borgia operated to carve out what he hoped would be a kingdom for himself that would certainly rival Venice and Naples.


Cesare Borgia, as illustrated in ‘Portrait of Gentleman’ by Altobello Melone (Credit: Accademia Carrara).


His ambitions and also actions attracted the alert of Machiavelli, that invested time as an emissary in Borgia’s court, and who would create long reports around him.

Many kind of historians consider Borgia to be the motivation for ‘The Prince’. Machiavelli admired Borgia’s daring, treachery and efficiency in contrast to the frustratingly sluggish and prudent Florentine republic.

6. Machiavelli was not aethical himself


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Statue of Niccolò Macchiavelli by Lorenzo Bartolini (Credit: Jerbulon / CC).


‘The Prince’ may have gained notoriety for its ruthlessness, but Machiavelli thought in a just federal government. As a civil servant, he had been among the republic’s staunchest defenders.

Although his writing openly encouraged politicians to cwarmth, bribe, threaten and also even kill if important, he acknowledged that without respect for justice, culture would certainly collapse right into chaos.

7. ‘The Prince’ was just one of his works


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Cover page of 1550 edition of Machiavelli’s Il Principe.


Besides ‘The Prince’, Machiavelli additionally composed treatises on ‘The Discourses on Livy’, ‘The Art of War’ and also ‘Florentine Histories’.

Acomponent from being a novelist, he was likewise a translator, poet, playwbest and also wrote comedies and also carnival songs.

His poems included ‘Decennale Primo’ and also ‘Decennale Secondo’ and he penned the satirical play La Mandragola (‘The Mandrake’).

8. It was banned by the Pope

Although copies of ‘The Prince’ had been circulated among Machiavelli’s friends, it was not publimelted until after his fatality, through the permission of Pope Clement VII.

The papacy’s perspective in the direction of his work quickly chilled and it was condemned by both the Catholic and also Protestant churches.

In 1557, when Pope Paul IV establimelted Rome’s first Index Librorum Prohibitorum (‘Index of Forbidden Books’), he made sure to incorporate ‘The Prince’ for its encouragement of political and ethical corruption.

9. He became a theatrical stock character of evil

By the 1sixth century, Machiavelli’s name had actually discovered itself in the English language as an epithet for crookedness.

In Elizabethan theatre, it came to signify a dramatic type: the incorrigible schemer thrust by greed and also unbridled ambition.

In Christopher Marlowe’s 1589 play ‘The Jew of Malta’, the character of Machiavel says:

I count religious beliefs yet a childish toy, / And host tright here is no sin but ignorance.

In Shakespeare’s 1602 play ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’, a characters asks:

Am I politic? Am I subtle? Am I a Machiavel?

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10. He is thought about the father of modern-day political science

Machiavelli’s ideas had actually a prodiscovered influence on national politics throughout the Western world. After 500 years, his legacy proceeds in political life across the world.

‘The Prince’ was accused of having actually inspired Henry VIII’s defiance of the papacy. A copy was in the possession of the Spanish king and Divine Roman Emperor Charles V.

It was later on blamed for having incited Queen Catherine de’ Medici to order the massacre of 2,000 rebel Protestants at the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre.


Machiavelli’s tomb in the Santa Croce Church in Florence (Credit: Gryffindor / CC).


He was also shelp to have straight influenced the founding fathers of the Amerihave the right to Rdevelopment.

Machiavelli was the initially political writer to separate national politics from principles, placing good emphasis on handy strategies over thoughtful ideas.

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Instead of concentrating on what was best or wrong, he considered what needs to be accomplished.